True Crime Stories – Revenge Killers

February 3, 2008

Writers know there is a wealth of story ideas in daily headlines. True Crime Stories fascinate audiences and inspire writers who interweave fact with fiction.  Revenge killers are not satisfied until the objects of their anger are destroyed.   Coy Wayne Westbrook killed his estranged wife, Gloria, driven to a point of no return.  He was overcome with jealousy and rage when he witnessed Gloria having sex with a party guest.  He had no previous violent tendencies, yet the humiliation he endured that night resulted in the deaths of five people.    Coy suffered from dyslexia and dropped out of school, as a result, he suffered from low self esteem as an adult.    Anger that builds to uncontrollable rage may be a result of diminished brain function.  As areas of the brain are activated they use more oxygen.  Researchers can identify brain activity by monitoring isotopes delivered with oxygen to regions of the brain. The Orbital Frontal Cortex (OFC) is activated when subjects visualize their angriest moments.  However, some people have reduced levels of functionality in the OFC and they are unable to control their actions.  Revenge is a need to punish those who have hurt us.  In 1973, Archie Mccafferty discovered his infant son accidentally smothered to death by his wife, who rolled over on him in the night.  He fantasized about killing others to relieve his overwhelming grief.  He planned to kill seven people in a spree of vengeance.   He abducted and killed three victims, with no sympathy.  He planned to finish his spree by killing his wife and her family, but instead, he turned on one of his own gang members.  The gang member turned him in to authorities. Even incarcerated, he wanted to complete his mission to kill seven victims believing it would bring his son back to life.  Unlike Westbrook, Mccafferty had a history of violence. He was abused as a child and seemed destined for a life of crime. He was a thief and had been incarcerated for much of his youth. Mccafferty was released after 25 years in prison and is deported to Scotland, where he lives today.    Love seems to have destroyed and saved Mccafferty.  The connection between love and revenge is strong.  Having a loved one near by has been shown to help subject regulate stress and anxiety.